A Wealthy Green New Year

Have the holidays made your belly feel as full as mine? Today is the last day of the Year, and I began it with a new ritual that I’ve promised myself to practice each morning of January 2013. I don’t like resolutions, because I find that I never stick to them as much as I hope/plan to, and then I end up disappointed. But I’m good at keeping promises – realistic ones – and I think this one I can keep.

Every morning in January, I will blend up water, juice of one lemon (although this morning I used a tart little orange I got off of a tree in the neighborhood), a big handful of greens (this morning I used the new “Power to the Greens” variety from Trader Joes) and a chunk of ginger. Whenever I drink this Green Lemonade, I feel full and satiated. So what a better way to start the day?

Tonight, I’m making a vegetarian Hoppin’ John. I just learned about this traditional Southern New Year’s dish, that is thought to bring a prosperous year filled with luck. It’s is essentially black eyed peas with dark leafy greens, both of which symbolize good luck and prosperity. Traditionally it is made with bacon or ham hock. I’m going to use mushrooms and smoked paprika to flavor my dish, in their place. I found this recipe in the Vegetarian Times, which I will use to inspire my dish tonight.

*Note: I am going to loosely follow this recipe, and will omit the apple cider vinegar and agave. I am also going to omit the veggie bacon, and add mushrooms and a fair amount of smoked paprika and Old Bay to give my greens that smokey baconey flavor. And finally, instead of rice, I will make farro or quinoa for my grain. That’s the best thing about beans n’ greens – you can customize them to your liking.

Wishing you a wealthy, abundant, healthy and delectable 2013 darlings! May you bring your dreams into reality!


Vegetarian Hoppin’ John

Serves 4

Southern cooks put cruets of vinegar and bottles of vinegar-based hot sauce (like Tabasco and Texas Pete) on the table for guests to doctor up this classic New Year’s dish with tangy flavor.
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, divided
  • 2 Tbs. agave nectar
  • 3 tsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp. chili powder, divided
  • 1 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1 large bunch collard greens, chopped
  • 4 slices meatless low-fat bacon strips, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped (¾ cup)
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped (¾ cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
  • 1 ½ cups cooked long-grain white rice
  • 1 15.5-oz. can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed

1. Whisk together 2 Tbs. vinegar, agave nectar, 1 tsp. olive oil, 1/2 tsp. chili powder, and 1/2 tsp. salt; set aside.

2. Cook collard greens in pot of boiling salted water 15 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup liquid.

3. Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tsp. oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon, onion, celery, garlic, and remaining 1/2 tsp. chili powder. Cook 8 minutes, or until translucent. Add collard greens, vinegar-agave nectar mixture, 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid, 2 Tbs. vinegar, and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt. Cover, and cook 10 minutes, or until greens are tender. Transfer to serving platter.

4. Add rice and beans to skillet. Stir in remaining 1/4 cup cooking liquid, and cook 3 minutes, or until heated through. Serve rice and beans over greens.


One thought on “A Wealthy Green New Year

  1. Pingback: Tamar Kagan's Healthy Delectable Blog · In With The New…Year

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